Tuesday, April 17
This day began with an very early drive to the domestic airport for a flight to David City where we stopped for breakfast before driving on to our inn in Boquete. What a treat - instead of one shared room, we were given two bedrooms connected by a sitting room entrance, at the Panamonte Inn. The restaurant at this inn was wonderful! In the afternoon, although it poured rain, the boys, Tom and Chris went for a walk around the base of the Baru Volcano for awhile. The old volcanic rock provided good trailside climbing opportunities for Jesse and Tim.
Wednesday, April 18
Today was possibly the ultimate adventure - the zip-line! We drove into Boquete and climbed into the back of a large truck which took us and several others up to the zip-line center. There we disembarked into a very nice headquarters which included a restaurant and great viewing porch. Down the hill a bit, we all got suited up with harnesses and helmets and heavy gloves, and then sat and watched as one of the guides demonstrated the right and wrong ways to do this. (Anne got unsuited at this point and stayed behind - fear of heights!) Tom and the boys went on up the mountain in a truck and then by foot to the first of 14 platforms and 12 zip-lines between them. "Awesome!" Tim was deemed too light to go on his own, so he rode tandem with one of the guides (latched to him with a harness), and people said he had the best and fastest ride of anybody. They finally zipped into view of the porch on the last 3 lines. We had a great lunch there and bought the DVD the guides had put together of the ride. Jesse now wants to be a zip-line guide when he grows up. After lunch we sat around and that is where the boys (with their sharp eyes) saw the Resplendent Quetzal swooping in flight into the woods.
The next stop after lunch was a small organic coffee farm where we saw the plants and berries as well as storage and heard the story of growing coffee. The owner, Rich, and his wife are retired Americans who live in Panama full-time now and raise coffee. Rich provided us with a tasting of three different roasts of his gourmet and highly-prized coffee. Yum!
By now the rain was pouring down, and the mountain bike ride downhill into town was called off - too bad!